The Golden Suns softball team picked up their first conference series sweep over Northwestern Oklahoma State at Bentonville High School in Bentonville due to weather.
The first game on Sunday was a great pitcher’s duel. The Lady Rangers took the early lead in the first inning on a wild pitch by ace Cara Tolar, which put them up 1-0. Then the Suns battled back in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single by infielder Paige Mendoza to tie the game up at one.
Northwestern Oklahoma took back the lead on an RBI single by centerfielder Peyton Garrett to put the rangers back up 2-1. Tech came back and tied the game up in the bottom of the third when first baseman Megan Goodnight hit an RBI single to tie the game back up at two.
Then, in the next half inning, third baseman Morgan Kirk hit a solo homerun to put the score back to 3-2 NWOSU. The Golden Suns weren’t done just yet and scored two runs in the bottom half of the fourth in back to back RBI bunt singles by outfielder Sydnie Henson and utility player Bailey Bunch to give ATU a 4-3 lead. Goodnight came into the fifth inning and closed the door to pick up the 4-3 victory.
Bailey Shaffer pitched an inning and two-thirds and picked up her third victory of the year. Goodnight pitched three innings and picked up her third save of the year.
The night cap was quite a different story. Through the first three innings, neither team scored. It wasn’t until infielder Sarah Coronado hit an RBI single in the fourth that ATU gained a 1-0 lead and the Suns extended their lead to 4-0 on a three-run homerun by catcher Janie Knowles. They ended up winning by that score as well behind a complete game two hitter by pitcher Kristen Dempsey. Dempsey gave up one walk and struck out nine Lady Rangers. Dempsey picked up her third victory of the year.
The third game of the series was quite similar to game two. The Lady Rangers took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Tech tied the game when Mendoza scored on a passed ball. Outfielder Ashton Sangster hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the second to give ATU a 3-1 lead.
NWOSU drew closer on a solo homerun by outfielder Macy Madewell to make the score 3-2. Sangster hit in another RBI in the third, then the offense exploded in the fourth inning with a two-run homerun by Makenzie Addis to make ATU’s lead 7-2.
Then Henson knocked in another run in the fifth, and Mendoza hit a sac fly to make the lead 9-2. The Golden Suns ended up winning by that score behind an excellent outing by Shaffer went four innings, giving up only two hits and no walks and also stuck out three. Shaffer improved to 4-1 on the year and Lacy Mann also got her first experience on the mound in this game. Mann went three innings, giving up seven hits, two runs both earned, walked one and struck out four.
The final game of the series was another outstanding performance by the ATU softball team. Tech took an early lead in the bottom of the second when Henson knocked in Hayley Womack to put them up 1-0. NWOSU came back in the fourth and tied the game at one on an RBI single by Estrella Guardiola.
ATU then scored four runs in the fifth inning, notably by single by Coronado then back to back RBI singles by Mendoza and Goodnight. The Suns ended up completing the sweep by winning 5-1 in the series finale.
Goodnight picked up her third win of the year, going three innings, giving up one hit, walked one and struck out one. With the series sweep, the Golden Suns extended their winning streak to six and stand in a two-way tie atop the conference standings with Harding. ATU looks to extend their winning streak next weekend when they take on Ouachita Baptist next weekend in Arkadelphia.